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  • Published: 3 Aug 2016
  • DOI: 10.4324/9781138641839-HOF11-1


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • The governess and the needlewoman
  • The Girl of the Period and The Shrieking Sisterhood
  • The New Woman
  • The Suffrage
  • References

Victorian Anti-Feminisms

University at Texas‐Arlington


For much of the Victorian period, feminism was less a movement than a concern with issues of importance to women, and those who pursued those concerns were by no means united on every front. Thus “anti-feminism” might include not only those who resisted any change in women’s condition but feminists who resisted reforms proposed by other feminists. This essay will focus on such contested issues: the nature and extent of women’s employment outside the home, “the girl of the period” perceived as unfeminine, “the shrieking sisterhood” of feminist activists in public venues, the New Woman and her resistance to marriage, and the fraught question of women’s suffrage.